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CUSTOM FOR CHOOSING TEAMS

IN ELECTING SOMEONE FOR SOMETHING, OR FOR CHOOSING UP TEAMS, WE
USED TO EMPLOY A BASEBALL BAT. THE TWO CAPTAINS WOULD STAND
FACING EACH OTHER AND A THIRD PARTY WOULD TOSS THE BAT STRAIGHT
UP INTO THE AIR. ONE OF THE TWO CAPTAINS WOULD TRY TO CATCH IT
NEAR THE BOTTOM BY GRABBING IT WITH HIS HAND. THE OTHER PERSON
WOULD THEN WRAP HIS HAND AROUND THE BAT DIRECTLY ABOVE THE FIRST
PERSON'S. THIS WOULD CONTINUE UNTIL THERE WAS NO MORE ROOM AT THE
TOP OF THE BAT. WHEN THIS STAGE WAS REACHED THEN THE PERSON WHOSE
HAND WAS NEAREST TO THE TOP WAS THE WINNER. SEVERAL VARIATIONS
WERE ALLOWED. ONE WAS TO REST YOUR ELBOW ON THE FIRST PERSON'S
HAND AND THEN WRAP YOUR HAND AROUND THE BAT. ANOTHER WAS TO PLACE
ONLY TWO FINGERS AROUND THE BAT (BUT THE FINGERS MUST BE ABLE TO
TOUCH THE THUMB IN THIS CASE). FINALLY YOU COULD DO "EAGLE'S
CLAWS," THAT IS, WRAP YOUR FINGERS OVER THE KNOB OF THE BAT IN
THE MANNER OF A BIRD'S CLAWS. BUT IT YOU DID THIS YOU HAD TO
SUBSEQUENTLY THROW THE BAT FARTHER THAN TEN FEET BEHIND YOURSELF
OR YOU LOST. THESE MANEUVERS WERE USED TO SKILLFULLY TRY TO
SHORTEN OR LENGTHEN DISTANCES ON THE BAT SO YOU WOULD WIN.

Submitter comment: I LEARNED THIS FROM PLAYMATES IN FORT WAYNE, INDIANA, BUT ALSO
USED IT HERE IN DETROIT, ESPECIALLY WHEN CHOOSING TEAMS FOR
SOME GAME THAT REQUIRED A BAT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; INDIANA ; FORT WAYNE

Subject headings: 686 First / Once / One / Newness
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Pastime
BELIEF -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 12-00-1963

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